Advisory groups to improve competitive environment

22 Aug 2006

Bahrain’s Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) yesterday established an independent consumer advisory group to be tasked with providing continuous feedback on customer-related issues. The regulator said it was an important step as the market was still at an early stage of competition. It also announced that a business advisory group is in the process of being established to provide input from the corporate users’ perspective.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database notes that Bahrain’s fixed line market was opened up to competition on 1 July 2004 when state-owned Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) had its monopoly taken away, and several alternative operators — including Mena Broadband Services, Digi Connect, 2Connect and MTC-Vodafone (all of which operate international services) – entered the market by the end of that year, as well as several new VSAT and ISP licensees. The country is home to two cellcos, Batelco and MTC-Vodafone; Batelco leads the mobile market with over 70% of the Kingdom’s 850,000 subscribers at the end of June 2006. Last month the TRA announced a plan to award new fixed-wireless licences and launched a public consultation on the possible award of additional mobile licences.